Navigation Flight Plan

Navigation Flight Plan

A navigation flight plan is a document prepared for use by the pilot, detailing all relevant information concerning the safe operation of an aircraft on a route flight. The flight plan also acts as a navigation log for use in flight.

The flight plan may also contain mass and balance information applicable to the flight.

A navigation flight plan may be produced manually or by computer.

A manual flight plan is normally completed by the pilot filling in fields on a printed form. For standard routes, some information concerning the route may be pre-printed on the flight plan.

Several commercial companies (e.g. Jeppesen) produce navigation flight plans under contract; these may be accompanied by a summary prepared for completion of the ATC flight plan and by aeronautical and meteorological information packages.

Software is also available for completion of computer flight plans on portable computers.

The Navigation Flight Plan

The navigation flight plan contains a summary of the flight including as much of the following information as is appropriate or required by the operator, for example:

  • Aircraft registration;
  • Critical weights (including empty weight, passenger or freight weight and all-up weight at take-off and landing);
  • Total time;
  • Total fuel required;
  • Alternate airfield details;

The Navigation Log

The navigation log contains as much of the following information as is appropriate for the flight, or is laid down in the operator's Operations Manual. Additional information may be provided if rquired. The flight plan will have blank places where additional information can be entered in flight (denoted by square brackets [ ] below):

  • Route, including name of air route and description and position of way-points;
  • Planned level;
  • Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA);
  • Track;
  • Wind;
  • Heading;
  • Distance;
  • Indicated Airspeed (IAS);
  • Outside Air Temperature (OAT);
  • True Airspeed (TAS);
  • Groundspeed;
  • Elapsed Time;
  • Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA);
  • [Amended ETA];
  • [Actual Time of Arrival];
  • Estimated Fuel remaining;
  • [Actual Fuel Remaining].

Further Reading


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